Ken Graves

1942 · United States

Artist biography

Ken Graves is seen as an established artist, who was born in the United States. Ken Graves was born in 1942. Born in the same country and around the same year are Chuck Close, Dale Chihuly, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell and Barbara Kruger.

Ken Graves' Gallery representation

Ken Graves is represented and exhibited by Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco, the United States.

Historical Context of United States

The United States, in particular New York city, endures as a central point that has played a substantial role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The idea of New York as a new multinational and highly influential art centre appeared in the post war era, and the city thrived in asserting its supremacy over Paris, which used to be considered as the most powerful international art centre. The predominance of the political and economic institutions of the United States in the modern era has provided the country with a powerful influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are influential art movements that emerged in the United States. These very movements also reverberated into a multitude of variations, such as diverse forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast adaptations of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally distinguished U.S artists of the contemporary period age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Ken Graves

Ken Graves was born in 1942 and was primarily inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Evocative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of new ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact internationally, largely defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to obliterate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the expressive and highly personal aspect it would usually entail with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, distinctive to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for example, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to portray the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.

Ken Graves

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